Why am I not losing weight?!
We hear this all the time in our clinic. Weight management can be incredibly frustrating, and there are dozens of things that can get in the way of successfully losing weight.
Let’s take a look at a few of the more common ones.
Great expectations: Long term, sustainable changes can produce large amounts of weight loss, but it’s almost always over long amounts of time. Sometimes when I hear “I’m not losing,” they really mean “I’m not losing as fast as I’d like.” Keep in mind that even 1 pound a month will add up. Also, if you’re losing inches without losing pounds you must be replacing fat with muscle – this actually sets you up for a better metabolism long term.
The yo-yo curse: If you’ve lost weight by dieting in the past but each round seems to be harder, you’re probably not imagining it. When you lose weight, especially on highly restrictive diets, you can slow your metabolism long term. Also, if you lost lean muscle mass with each diet and then regained to your original weight, you now have more fat making up your body. This also makes it a slower process to get back in shape.
Are you a furnace or a vault? What’s the difference? Fuel! I actually have quite a few patients whose main issue improving metabolism and losing fat is that they don’t eat enough, or they go too long between meals. If you are routinely skipping meals or following a very restrictive diet plan, I would look at re-evaluating that. Visiting with a registered dietitian is also a great way to get back on track.
Missing half the equation. Diet and exercise complement each other and they are both necessary to manage body weight. Notice I said manage, not lose – even people who don’t want to lose pounds can see benefits in their health by getting a good combination of cardiovascular and strength based exercise on a regular basis. And you won’t build the healthy, lean body you want without giving it the right nutrition to work with.
If you feel like you can check this list off and you’re still struggling, talking with a healthcare provider experienced in weight management might be your next step, but these are by far the most common issues we see.